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  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services



    Non-Precedent Decision of the Administrative Appeals Office

    DATE: OCT. 27,2016


    The Petitioner, a sculptor and architect, seeks classification as an individual "of extraordinary I

    ability" in the arts. See Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act) section 203(b )(1 )(A), 8 U.S.C. § 1153(b )(1 )(A). This classification makes visas available to foreign nationals who can demonstrate their extraordinary ability through sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in their field through extensive documentation.

    The Director, Texas Service Center, denied the petition, concluding that the Petitioner had not provided documentation satisfying the initial evidence requirements set forth at 8 C.F .R § 204.5(h)(3), which requires documentation of a one-time achievement or evidence that meets at least three of the ten regulatory criteria.

    The matter is now before us on appeal. In his appeal, the Petitioner contends he meets more than three criteria based on his awards, association memberships, scholarly articles, leadership role for his company, and artistic contributions.

    Upon de novo review, we will dismiss the appeal.

    I. LAW

    The Petitioner may demonstrate his extraordinary ability through sustained national or international acclaim and achievements that have been recognized in her field through extensive documentation. Specifically, section 203(b)(1)(A) of the Act states: ·

    Aliens with extraordinary ability. --An alien is described in this subparagraph if-

    (i) the alien has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation,

    (ii) the alien seeks to enter the United States to continue work m the area of extraordinary ability, and

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    (iii) the alien's entry into the United States will substantially benefit prospectively the United States.

    The term "extraordinary ability" refers only to "those individuals in that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor." 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(2). The implementing regulation at 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(3) sets forth a multi-part analysis. First, a petitioner can demonstrate sustained acclaim and the recognition of his achievements in the field through a one-time achievement (that is a major, internationally recognized award). If he does not submit this documentation, then he must provide sufficient qualifYing evidence that meets at least three of the ten criteria listed at 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(3)(i)-(x).

    Satisfaction of at least three criteria, however, does not, in and of itself, establish eligibility for this classification. See Kazarian v. USCIS, 596 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2010) (discussing a two-part review where the documentation is first counted and then, if fulfilling the required number of criteria, considered in the context of a final merits determination); see also Visinscaia v. Beers, 4 F. Supp. 3d 126, 131-32 (D.D.C. 2013); Rijal v. USCIS, 772 F. Supp. 2d 1339 (W.D. Wash. 2011), aff'd, 683 F.3d. 1030 (9th Cir. 2012); Matter of Chawathe, 25 I&N Dec. 369, 376 (AAO 2010) (holding that the "truth is to be determined not by the quantity of evidence alone but by its quality" and that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) examines "each piece of evidence for relevance, probative value, and credibility, both individually and within the context of the totality of the evidence, to determine whether the fact to be proven is probably true"). Accordingly, where a petitioner submits qualifYing evidence under at least three criteria, we will determine whether the totality of the record shows sustained national or international acclaim and demonstrates that the individual is among the small percentage at the very top of the field of endeavor.


    A. Evidentiary Criteria

    Under the regulation at 8 C.P.R. § 204.5(h)(3), a petitioner, as initial evidence, may present a one- time achievement that is a major, internationally recognized award. In this case, the Petitioner has not stated or shown that he is the recipient of a qualifying award at a level similar to that of the Nobel Prize. As such, he must provide at least three of the ten types of documentation listed under 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(3)(i)-(x).

    Documentation of the alien's receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor. 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(3)(i).

    The Petitioner initially submitted a portfolio containing photographs of his various award certificates, but the accompanying English language translations in the portfolio were not certified by the translator. The regulation at 8 C.F.R. § 103.2(b)(3) provides in pertinent part:


  • (b)(6)

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    Translations. Any document containing foreign language submitted to USCIS shall be accompanied by a full English language translation which the translator has certified as complete and accurate, and by the translator's certification that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.


    For example, the portfolio included a December 201 0 certificate of honor from the editorial committee of the inviting the Petitioner as a "special master" for an arts exhibition commemorating the anniversary of

    birth. In addition, a December 201 0 award certificate in the portfolio stated that the Petitioner won a ' Although the Director's request for evidence (RFE) informed the Petitioner that all non-English language documents required properly certified English language translations, he did not provide such translations for the two aforementioned certificates. Because the Petitioner did not submit properly certified English language translations for the preceding two Chinese language award certificates, we cannot determine whether the documents support his claims. Regardless, the Petitioner did not offer supporting evidence showing that the two awards constitute nationally or internationally recognized awards for excellence in the field.

    With regard to the remaining 13 certificates from the portfolio, the Petitioner's response to the RFE included a single "Certificate of Translation" from the translator attesting to her competency)n English and to the accuracy of the "Awards and Exhibitions"' translations. The "Certificate of Translation" listed seven items including "Awards and Exhibitions," but lacked any further specificity regarding any of the translated documents. The submission of a single translation certification that does not specifically identify the document or documents it purportedly accompanies does not meet the requirements of the regulation at 8 C.F .R. § 103 .2(b )(3 ).

    Nonetheless, the Petitioner did not provide documentary evidence demonstrating that any of the 13 certificates are nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor. For instance, one of the certificates stated that the Petitioner's work ' was "selected to attend of the

    1990). Another certificate indicated that the Petitioner "supported and sponsored the through his "donation of In addition, an 2008 "Certificate

    of Participation" noted that the Petitioner's "work was displayed in the exhibition going with for held at

    The record does not include documentation showing that the aforementioned certificates are nationally or internationally recognized awards for excellence in sculpting, rather than just acknowledgments of the Petitioner's participation in the exhibitions or his donation of art work.

    The Petitioner provided a document listing and describing his 13 award certificates, but he has not submitted accompanying evidence demonstrating that his certificates were recognized on a national or international level. Accordingly, the Petitioner has not established that he meets the plain language of this regulatory criterion.


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    Documentation of the alien's membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields. 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(3)(ii).

    The Petitioner initially submitted his membership credentials for the and the without providing

    certified English language translations as required by the regulation at 8 C.P.R. § 103.2(b)(3). In response to the Director's RPE, the Petitioner provided a document listing the application requirements:

    1. Agree with constitution and will to join in 2. Skilled craftsman with medium-grade professional title or above 3. Have high school degree or above and have at least five-years work experience 4. People have invention, significant science and technical achievement or monograph 5. Government leaders who supports [sic] our career and works at arts and crafts area

    Although the single "Certificate of Translation" provided in response to the RPE included the description "Membership in Association" among its seven listed items, the certification lacked any further specificity regarding any of the translated documents. Again, the submission of a single translation certificat


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